In this paper we address the following question: can a single cell of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum serve as a pacemaker for the aggregation phase? Whether or not this is possible is determined by the relative importance of cyclic AMP production due to self-stimulation as compared to diffusion of cyclic AMP away from the cell and extracellular degradation. We determine the conditions under which a single cell on an infinite place can emit periodic signals of cyclic AMP using a model developed previously for signal relay and adaptation in Dictyostelium. Elsewhere it has been shown that this model provides an accurate representation of the stimulus-response behavior of Dictyostelium for a variety of experimental conditions.
- Single cell pacemaker